Congratulations for the Rescue of the Chilean Miners

A Letter from the President Deborah Weissman To Rabbi Samuel Szteinhendler, President of the Chilean Council of Christians and Jews

Dear Rabbi Szteinhendler,

Just a little over seven months ago, I wrote to you and expressed the condolences of the ICCJ for the great human losses during the earthquake. Now it is my happy duty to send a totally different kind of letter--a letter of congratulations to the people of Chile and identification with your national victory of courage and faith.

I have difficulty remembering --at least in the recent past--the feeling of an entire world being united in solidarity around a positive news story. I feel certain that anyone who had access to any news media yesterday shared the experience of wishing well to the 33 miners, their families and the Chilean people. I can tell you that at least one newspaper column here in Israel was devoted to a kind of "holy envy" of the Chileans for their unity and positive national pride.

I assume that many social scientists will want to study the amazing story of survival of the trapped miners, what developed in them a spirit of comradeship, and what motivated the positive leadership that emerged from the group. Whatever it is, we should try to nurture it in the rest of the world, as well. We hope to see you and your colleagues at ICCJ activities in the future.

Very best wishes,
Dr. Deborah Weissman

Heppenheim/Jerusalem, 14 October 2010